Global lead and zinc production increased by 2.9pc and 2.1pc, respectively, in January-July 2020 on an annual basis, according to the World Bureau of Metals Statistics (WBMS).
Lead markets in surplus
WBMS noted that the global lead market had registered a surplus of 72,000mt in the first seven months of the year compared with a deficit of 243,000mt at the end of 2019.
Global demand in July stood at 1.06mn mt, WBMS indicated though it did not disclose the demand volumes for the January-July 2020 period. However, WBMS noted that around 47pc of the global apparent demand—a calculation made by the bureau due to the COVID-19 lockdowns earlier in 2020—came from China in the January-July 2020 period. Apparent demand in China increased by 130,000mt from January-July 2019 to 3.39mn mt during the same period this year.
In the US, however, apparent demand for the metal decreased by 76,000mt in the first seven months of the year, compared with the same period last year.
Global lead production also rose to 7.37mn mt in the first seven months of 2020, of which around 1.1mn mt was produced in July.
Zinc demand dips
The global apparent demand for zinc fell by 0.8pc or 63,000mt in January-July 2020 compared with the same period last year. WBMS did not disclose the global output volumes for the period under consideration. However, global refined zinc production increased in July, with slab output pegged at 1.15mn mt and apparent demand for the metal at 1.13mn mt during the month.
At 3.89mn mt, apparent demand from China made up around 50pc of the global demand during the January to July period.
Demand for zinc in Japan, a key consumer of the metal, declined by 18.5pc to 245,000mt in the first seven months of the year compared with the same period last year.